The transition from mid-market to high street has become blurred thanks to designer collaborations with high-street giants such as Topshop, Urban Outfitters and H&M. This new era of designer-high-street collections gives consumers the availability that they lust after for designer goods, without the price tag. This requires designers to adapt their aesthetic to match the target market for the store they’re selling with.
Despite being one of the largest and most commercial brands on the high street, Topshop is still one of the stores that fashion conscious consumers choose to shop at. Their collaborations with young british designers such as Christopher Kane, Ashish, Ann Sofie-Back and Mark Fast, draw in an audience that may not have shopped at the store otherwise.
All of their products reflect an “effortless grunge” style, perhaps due to the designers perceiving this look as sailable, and an easy look to wear – therefore, making it more available to a wider range of people.
Grunge model turned designer Kate Moss, has had her collections for the store specifically labeled as grunge by fashion giants such as Vogue.
“IT'S time to embrace your inner grunge girl as the latest offering from Kate Moss for Topshop hits the shelves tomorrow - and it comes ripped, studded, shredded, rocky and cool.”
This reinforces the idea that celebrity style will sell. And if celebrities are wearing a style considered “grunge”, consumers will imitate this look and designers will remake and revive this look for the customer.
This imitation does not always work to a stores advantage. All Saints collections when viewed as a whole, fit the criteria for a grunge look. However, with boy-bands such as JLS representing the stores look, their grunge image has become tarnished in the fashion industry. This is making it difficult for mid-market designers such as Nicholas K to sell their product to the right audience. If their collection is looking too “rough and ready” (an “All Saints jeans-tucked-into-boots” combo), a fashionable consumer will associate the look with unfashionable boy-bands rather than the grunge era that may have been the designers original inspiration.
This issue for mid-market designers creates a full rotation in that if their product is too expensive for the disheveled look the young consumer is after, they will not be willing to splash out for basic “thrift store” goods. A further problem is that if a designer aims to sell at this level, the quality of their fabrics must increase, consequently decreasing the grunge aesthetic.